Sharma: ‘Numerous obstacles to peace’
Speech in Parliament

Sharma: ‘Numerous obstacles to peace’

I second the motion and I thank the member for Fowler for moving this on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People; indeed, much of what he said I agree with, particularly his support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

I, like the Australian government and many Australians, support the notion of two states—the two peoples living alongside one another peacefully and in coexistence.

Unfortunately, a peace process, one that has been engaged over many years, has not led to the establishment of a Palestinian state to date.

As the member for Fowler articulated, there have been numerous obstacles. If this were easy, of course, it would have been done by now, so we shouldn’t underestimate the difficulties that are involved.

My enduring lesson from my time as the Australian Ambassador to Israel is that there are two things that need to happen, effectively, for peace to come about.

Firstly, Israel will only make the necessary territorial concessions that are needed for peace once its security is assured.

Secondly, Palestinians will only make the necessary identity concessions once the Palestinians are reconciled to Israel’s existence.

Both of those elements are missing to date, and have been missing throughout the process, whether it was the UN partition plan of 1947 and 1948, which was rejected; or the three noes of the Khartoum summit, which rejected Israel’s right to exist; or the failure of the Camp David process, the Indianapolis process or even the John Kerry-led process launched during the Obama administration.

Dave Sharma is the Federal Member for Wentworth. 

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